CNN President Chris Licht will reportedly not allow employees to drink during the network’s broadcast of New Year’s Eve.
Licht, who will be in CNN’s control room on New Year’s Eve, is trying to rebrand the network as a serious news channel. A part of the changes under Licht’s direction will be sobriety among CNN’s employees during the New Year’s Eve telecast, according to Semafor’s Max Tani:
This year, Licht said in one internal meeting that Cooper and Cohen will be permitted to imbibe, prompting Cooper to tell network leadership he’s concerned at the perception that only the two white hosts are permitted to drink.
Licht then walked that rule back: “Chris made an offhand remark in a town hall about drinking during the NYE program,” an aide said. “Shortly after, he proactively reached out to Anderson to clarify that his comments were meant as a joke and that he preferred no drinking on air at all.”
Not everyone is planning on letting the new regime spoil the fun. On his show after the news was announced, Andy Cohen said that since the correspondents will not be drinking this year, he “will be partying even harder on their behalf.“
The changes to the primetime broadcast come after CNN was roasted for showcasing “raunchy” tweets posted by pranksters live on air:
Good lookin’ out, Seymour Butts https://t.co/hpIUspvS7w
— matt barash (@mjbarash) January 2, 2022
"Ben Dover" and "Dixie Normus" piped up with tweets that scrolled along the bottom of CNN's screen New Year's Eve. https://t.co/7D2JfUwVSz
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 2, 2022
The broadcast was hosted by anchor Anderson Cooper and Bravo executive Andy Cohen, who appeared to be inebriated. The two were seen on live air tossing back tequila shots. Cooper was also heard loudly moaning during the drunken scene:
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.
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